7 Ways to Spring Clean for Less

The recession has got many of us housebound in an attempt to save cash.

Clean, de-cluttered digs will help you keep your space a stress-free environment where it is fun to entertain. (Imagine a place you where you want to hang out, rather than have to.)

Unfortunately, maid services can set you can set you back $75 to scrub down a five-room apartment (900 sq ft), and up to $400 for a 2,200 sq nine-room home — per visit. Most estimates range around $30 to $40 per hour depending on the size of the house and time to clean.  But if you ditch the maid and clean your space yourself, you’ll save money and you'll burn some calories in the process.

Here are seven fresh ways to spring clean for less:

1.  Go Green When You Go Clean
Method Home’s [www.methodhome.com] Detox Your Home kit is a seven-piece cleaning arsenal that allows you to jettison your chemical-based products and still get your house squeaky clean (naturally). You’ll get mopping solution, dish soap, all-surface cleaner, wood solution, tub and tile cleanser, and more — enough supplies to scrub down everything you’ve got for weeks for just $28.

2. Protect Your Digits
If you’re stuck cleaning your own house, you deserve to look cute doing it. Gloveables are the fashionable way to keep your hands and nails protected while scrubbing, gardening, and washing dishes. Cost? $14 and well worth the price you save in manicure touch ups.

3. Chose a Natural Air Freshener
Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day aromatherapy soy candles ($8 at drugstore.com) contain essential oils like lavender, lemon verbena, and geranium to instantly lift your spirits and leave your space smelling fresh. The brand also has scent diffusers ($12) and room fresheners ($6) in matching scents to layer on the fragrance so you can stretch that clean-house smell out for days.

4. Use Chemical-free Detergent
Conserve your washing costs and save the planet with Free & Clear, 2x Ultra concentrated vegetable-based laundry detergent from Seventh Generation. It’s easy on the wallet ($10 for 50 ounces, check seventhgeneration.com for locations to buy) and even easier on the environment.

5. Get an All-in-one Mopper
If you have to clean hard floors, we say do it with the least amount of personal effort possible. We love Hoover’s FloorMate Hard Floor Cleaner which vacuums, washes and dries floors (even cleans spills in seconds) in one lightweight machine. All you have to do is push it. Cost: $130. The reduction in back pain and mopping hassle? Priceless!

6. Consider Longer-lasting Sponges
Sponges have a reputation for breeding bacteria (and falling apart fast), but SOAKER sponges remove the disgust factor. They’re machine washable and have a three-year life expectancy. Each sponge starts at around a $1 — that’s a slighter higher price than dollar-store varieties, but you get your money's worth in longevity and cleanliness.

7. Dust Bust
 Maximum your work-life balance with the Swiffer extended handle, 360-degree duster, which can be locked into four different angle positions, so you can clean just about anything within three feet. A starter kit and three duster heads is $15 at amazon.com (Stock Quote: AMZN ).

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